(6.15pm, Wednesday 14 May 2014, Lord Mayor's Reception Room)
Thank you, Stephen and welcome, everyone, to Town Hall.
I would also like to welcome our guests:
- Mr Shu Xiao, Minister Councillor of Culture, representing His Excellency Zhaoxu Ma, Ambassador of the People's Republic of China in Australia
- Ms Ying Tang A, representing His Excellency Li Huaxin, Consul-General of the People's Republic of China in Sydney
- The Hon Helen Sham-Ho, Honorary President of Chinese Parents' Association - Children with Disabilities
- Miranda Vuong, President of Chinese Parents' Association - Children with Disabilities
- Our Festival Ambassadors Claudia Chan Shaw, William Yang and Chui Lee Luk
- Members of the Chinese New Year Festival Advisory Group
- Gill Minervini and her City of Sydney Events team and
This Year of the Horse marked the 18th anniversary of Sydney's Chinese New Year Festival and once again it confirmed its standing as one of the City's greatest public celebrations.
The largest crowd ever - over 130,000 people - witnessed a spectacular Twilight Parade with a gorgeous lantern display at Darling Quarter afterwards.
Over 350 performers from the Chinese delegation contributed to the parade, while others took part in the New Year markets at Belmore Park, which attracted over 80,000 visitors.
These events and the popular Dragon Boat races were among more than 80 activities that ranged from cooking demonstrations to a wonderful art exhibition, Crossing Boundaries, to a Lunar Feasts that doubled in size to include 29 restaurants.
I'd like to pay tribute to our Events staff and to everyone who partnered with us in these celebrations. It's clear the Festival continues to build strong audiences and continues to attract a diverse range of ages and cultures by the sheer quality and variety of events it presents.
I would also like to congratulate the City's media team who provided information for almost 4,000 stories across local, national and international media. These included well over 2,000 stories in Chinese print, radio, television and on-line media which gives you some idea of the reach and impact of Sydney's Chinese New Year Festival.
So once again, I thank everyone who contributed to this absolutely outstanding celebration and we have here some certificates of appreciation for you.